When writing for an audience of North American English speakers, it is recommended to use toward instead of towards. However, there are some exceptions to the rule that you should be aware of.
Both words are correct and mean the same thing, but their usage depends on your audience and which style guide you follow. Using the right word for your audience can make your writing clearer and more persuasive.
When writing, it’s often a struggle to determine the best spelling for certain words. Sometimes, even with a consistent style guide in place, there are some words that just can’t seem to agree on what the proper spelling is. Such is the case with the prepositions toward and towards. Some writers and editors believe that toward is the correct spelling while others prefer to use towards. The difference between the two is not as pronounced as one might think and using either word interchangeably in some contexts is acceptable.
The primary differences between the two are their forms, geographical language, and pronunciation. Towards is the more common spelling in North American English, while towards is used more frequently throughout areas outside of this region. While many prefer to stick with the spelling that is most commonly used in their area, there is no harm in switching back and forth between the two forms depending on the audience.
Towards is also pronounced differently than toward, with the latter having an extra sound that can make it slightly harder to pronounce in some cases. While this isn’t a major factor in the spelling debate, it does help to differentiate between the two when trying to determine which word is appropriate for different audiences or styles.
Some people may argue that toward is the correct spelling in all circumstances, however, this simply isn’t true. In the world of grammar, there are very few hard and fast rules that must be followed. For example, a strict grammarian may argue that it is improper to use toward in American English, but this is very rare and only occurs with very specific instances of the word.
It is important to keep in mind that both words are technically correct and that they mean the same thing. While some prefer to stick with a singular form of the word, it is important to remember that both are acceptable in formal written documents and that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to which one to choose.
Ultimately, it is up to the writer to decide which spelling they prefer and to be consistent with this choice across all document types and audiences. If the word is in a formal setting, it may be beneficial to use toward, but for informal content, it can be just as effective to use towards.
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